New ARPA-E grant received by Prof. Julian Norato

Prof. Julian Norato has received a new ARPA-E grant to study Topology Optimization and Additive Manufacturing for Performance Enhancement of High Temperature and High Pressure Heat Exchangers.

High-temperature, high-pressure heat exchangers can substantially increase heat transfer efficiency and reduce the size and weight of the heat exchangers. In this project, the group will consider counterflow plate heat exchangers, in which the cold and hot fluids flow in between alternate parallel plates and in opposite directions. The plates have flow structures (such as fins) that increase turbulence in the flow and improve mixing, which in turn improves the heat transfer rate.

The computational topology optimization techniques that will be advanced by this project will find highly optimal designs of these fin structures to maximize the heat transfer efficiency while guaranteeing the structural integrity of the plates at the high operating temperatures. The designs obtained by this project will be additively manufactured and tested by Michigan State University’s (MSU) Scalable and Expeditious Additive Manufacturing (SEAM) process, which can efficiently 3D-print parts that are fully dense and free of residual stresses. These characteristics substantially increase the strength of the 3D-printed metal plates at high temperatures.

The topology optimization framework will be coupled with the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and finite element analysis (FEA) solvers by Altair Engineering, the leading vendor in topology optimization software and one of the leading makers of simulation tools.


Published: April 1, 2021

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